Blight & Parks & Recreation
Blight Task Force
Mayor O’Leary formed the Blight Task Force in 2012. It works out of the Police Department and is staffed by two police officers and a representative from the Waterbury Development Corp. It also has liaisons with Corporation Counsel, the Fire Marshal, Public Works, Community Relations, Building, Health, Zoning and the Mayor’s Office. Since its formation, the Blight Task Force had cleared more than 18,000 complaint from residents of littering, abandoned or rundown properties and the like. The Blight Task Force has also overseen the demolition of 40 properties.
The O’Leary Administration has embraced the task of revitalizing certain Waterbury neighborhoods, partnering non-profit organizations and local, state and federal housing officials.
Gaffney Place features five newly remodeled homes in the Historic Hillside neighborhood, developed through a public-private partnership. Liberty Commons is a 33-unit affordable apartment complex recently opened by the nonprofit Loyola Development Corp. Also, Francis Xavier Plaza was opened on Baldwin Street earlier this year. The former St. Francis Xavier School was transformed into a 20-unit permanent supportive housing complex for adults and families experiencing chronic long term or repeated homelessness. It was a joint effort among local, state and federal agencies as well as the Archdiocese of Hartford.
Parks and Recreation
River-Baldwin Park: Construction substantially complete on new basketball courts. Project completion expected in Fall 2015.
Chase Park: New playscape, splash pad, site amenities; construction underway in Summer 2015.
Waterville Park: New playscape, splash pad, site amenities; construction underway in Summer 2015.
Rivera-Hughes Park: Various improvements under construction are expected to reach completion in Fall 2015; new bathrooms were recently delivered and installed.
MLK Park, Hamilton Park, Hopeville Park: New restrooms at all three parks. Anticipated that contracts will be awarded in Summer 2015 with construction to follow.
Fulton Park: Warming hut renovation; Greenhouse shed to be demolished; Demolition anticipated for late Summer/Fall 2015.
Lakewood Park: New double handball court; new benches under gazebo in Summer/Fall 2015.